36 Years Ago: Dolly Parton Makes Her Big Screen Debut in ‘9 to 5′
On this date, December 19th, in 1980, the movie 9 to 5 first aired in theaters.
The comedy film written by Patricia Resnick and Colin Higgins, directed by Higgins, starred Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Dabney Coleman. The film concerns three working women living out their fantasies of getting even with, and their successful overthrow of, the company’s autocratic, “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss.
9 to 5 was a hit, grossing over $3.9 million in its opening weekend in the United States and is the 20th highest-grossing comedy film. As a star vehicle for Parton—already established as a successful singer and songwriter—it launched her permanently into mainstream popular culture. Although a television series based on the film was less successful, a musical version of the film (also titled 9 to 5), with new songs written by Parton, opened on Broadway on April 30, 2009.
The movie’s theme song, “9 to 5”, written and recorded by Parton, became one of her biggest hits of the decade. While filming the movie, Dolly found she could use her long acrylic fingernails to simulate the sound of a typewriter. She wrote the song on set by clicking her nails together and forming the beat. The song went to number one for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the U.S. country singles charts, and was nominated for several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Song. It won the 1981 People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Motion Picture Song”, and two 1982 Grammy Awards: for “Country Song of the Year” and “Female Country Vocal of the Year” (it was nominated for four Grammys). Additionally, it was certified platinum by the RIAA.
December 19th, 2016